Where does the word “Hiccup” come from and What does Hiccup mean in Spanish and French?

We say, somewhat fatuously, that the hiccup is an echo of the sound, yet, strangely, the French idea of the same sound, written hoquet, is pronounced “aw’keh,” and the Spanish idea, written hipo, is pronounced “ee’po.”

We also spell our term hiccough, though without affecting the pronunciation.

Prior to the seventeenth century our English ancestors said hicket, more nearly representative of the actual sound, to our ears.

And it is close to the Dutch hikke, Danish hicke, and Swedish hicka.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment